Social Media Marketing Definition
I am warning you now, as you read this blog, you are going to hear this word a lot, “connection.” If you are looking for a social media marketing definition, it begins and ends with this aforementioned word. At its core, social media is about connecting with family, friends, acquaintances, and in some cases even that seemingly random suggestion that Facebook makes to you and decide to engage with. So what is social media marketing and where does it fit within this seemingly personal and in some cases professional networking schematic? The answer lies in the subscribing and sharing component of social media.
“Social Media Marketing is the process of connecting with end users through social media networks via the distribution of editorial or promotional content that is either subscribed to or shared by and between users.” – Andrew Bart, Founder & EVP of Digital Strategy at Pop Results
Social Media Marketing Means You Need To Be Social
As mentioned above, social media is about connecting. In other words, social media marketing means you need to be social and connect with others. As a business this can be challenging. You need to establish the personality of your business and what foundational principles it represents. Moving forward, you need to maintain this personality throughout the lifecycle of the relationship that you have with the public and your subscribed constituency. If you deviate from your stated passionate message, you are a fraud and you will be called out as such. In addition to establishing who you are with the public, you need to paint the picture as to why you are the way you are. In other words, over time, demonstrate a cohesively logical path to support your business principles.
Once you have established your business principles with your core constituency, social media marketing then becomes a game of numbers. As in, how do you expand your reach to gain new followers, likes, favorites, etc… As is the case with offline social networking, it all begins with knowing what room to walk into and then, who to talk to once you walk into that room. Most social media platforms offer the ability to breakdown your targeted demographic to the absolute core group. You can begin target marketing to this group with your foundational content and then, as your business grows, start to expand that demographic into wider and wider ranges. If you play your social media marketing strategy cards correctly, the beauty of social media is that your core audience will expand your network by telling their friends about you. They will share your content and then their friends will jump on board and subscribe to receive your content. At the end of the day, social media marketing is primarily an extension of word of mouth which in online terms means sharing.
Social Media Marketing Management
If you are a small business owner, time is precious and planning an editorial calendar can seem like a waste of time. Let me assure you, it is not. As mentioned above, cohesiveness is critical in any social media marketing strategy. If you don’t have the time, it might be time to outsource your social media management and optimization to a firm that will handle it all for you. Most medium sized and large corporations dedicate staff members known as community managers to execute their social media management strategies. These staff members might have additional team members including but limited to social media strategists, content developers, graphic designers, and others who contribute to the content strategy, development, distribution, and return communication with the public. If this sounds like a lot of energy behind social, you are correct. The world of social media marketing is just getting started and as social analytics become more advanced and measurable conversions increase, the investment in social media marketing dollars is certain to grow on an exponential level. As a business owner of any size, this means that you need to have an internal or outsourced social media management strategy in place or you will be left behind.
Social Media Marketing Connect, Connect, Connect
In summary, if you want to define social media marketing in its rawest form, it is about connecting and building a community. In the case of a business, social media marketing is about connecting those with likeminded interests surrounding your products or services. As is the case in the real world, when you connect with one new person and if they like you, you can probably meet four or five other people with similar interests from that one new person. Your network of connections is potentially as deep as the network each of your friends’ networks. Imagine an editorial piece of content created by your company that permeates through to your friends, the friends of your friends, and their friends, and so on and that is the power of viral social media. How do you make this happen? Good old fashioned connections are still the place to start.